Thursday, October 06, 2005

Someone sent the following to me:

"This is a poem made up entirely of actual quotations from George W. Bush, arranged for "aesthetic" purposes, by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson. A wonderful poem like this is too good not to share.Ah, yes! A testament to literacy in the age of Every Child Left Behind!"



I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pant leg of opportunity.
I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.

Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!

Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!

The foregoing is not a demonstration of Bush's idiocy or lack of linguistic skills. This is painstakingly calculated mind muck. George Walker Bush, the President of the United States of America, does not "ad lib" or do "improv". Those who pull the strings that control this dummy's mouth are handsomely-remunerated, expert ventriloquists. That is why you do not see them working their "magic".

Every word that comes out of Bush's mouth is deliberately chosen by highly-trained specialists. They compose optimally efficacious formulations of words that create the mental images which elicit the desired psychological and emotional responses in those who listen to the speeches and comments Bush delivers.

Moreover, I contend that the quotes above were not "arranged for aesthetic reasons only". By repeating and disseminating the quotes above, the Washington Post is in collusion with the Bush administration, not in opposition to it. It will be the lampoon that will stick in people's memories, and that is their precise objective.

If you've ever read an article in one of the United States' "better" newspapers, most notably the New York Times, then you know that they say absolutely nothing. The articles are strings of incoherent sentences that produce fragmented thought. But they're written using a lot of high-falutin' language that creates the illusion of something very profound having been related by a very profound professional writer. Those who guard their reputations as intellectuals jealously do not dare admit that they didn't understand a damn thing that was written in those articles, lest they be thought not to be capable of plumbing the depths of the thought of the Times' "brilliant" journalists. They pretend not only to understand, but also agree, with the "substance" of the articles on pain of being banned from the august Society of New York intellectuals. But I tell you: he King of American Newspapers has no clothes on, and neither do the bonnie princes.

My husband, Daniel, and I were and having a grand old time reading the lines above and laughing - until we came to the "vulcanize society" line. I laughed at the obvious error and then stopped laughing, rather abruptly, realizing that I could not think of the correct word to replace the malapropism with. Turning to Daniel I said: " I know 'vulcanized' is not the correct word, but I can't remember what the correct word is." I had to rack my brain for about a minute to remember the word 'galvanize'.

In putting those lines in the President's mouth, and making people who have learned correct English laugh at them, the people who write Bush's speeches are causing the educated to remember this patois, thus wiping out and supplanting their memory of correct English with gobbledygook. They are being re-educated even as they chortle. Their minds are being washed even as they guffaw. They are being taught how not to induce coherent thought using language aptly. They willingly go along with the process because they enjoy the laugh and the feeling of hubris at laughing at the President. The pride that the intelligent take in their intelligence is that which is being used to dumb them down – and they're enjoying every minute of it.
Putting misstatements and malapropisms in the mouth of the President is tremendously effective on the less educated and the young whose vocabularies, use of language and modes of thought are in the formation stage. The President is the role model of the political conservatives and a figure whose words are oft-heard for all in the English-speaking world. His English will be emulated by those who respect him and will become the manner of self-expression even for those who do not respect him because it will become that which is most familiar to them.

This device for dumbing down of Americans , and the English-speaking world really, by placing patois in the mouth of the President of the United States of America is highly indeed.

Those properly schooled are forgetting that which they once learned, the young and the poorly-schooled accept the English of the President as the norm and the intelligentsia – who have always used reason expressed in language as their most formidable weapon against oppression, ignorance and irrationality, have been very effectively disarmed. In contrast to the degraded, and even incoherent, mode of speech and writing that is rapidly becoming the familiar norm, the intelligentsia sound increasingly incomprehensible, ridiculous even alien. Thus, even more than in generations gone by, those who need to hear the messages of the intelligentsia most are the most likely to reject them out-of-hand for seeming weird, being different and being incomprehensible. In those rare cases in which someone might be disposed to reading their writings, the laziness and inability to think cogently that thinking in patois causes, will douse the desire to consider deeply soon enough.

Bush's manner of speech is no joke, then, and certainly not impromptu. It is part of a carefully-devised program to dumb the English-speaking world down and we would be extremely foolish to allow ourselves to be led down the garden path to generalized inability to think coherently, laughing cooperatively all the way.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

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